Grateful Dead Live at Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center on 1986-02-12
AUD> Beyer Dynamic M88's> Sony TCD5M (CM)> Nak DR-10 (Playback)> Midiman Flying Cow 24bit/48kHz A/D> RME Digi96/8> Steinberg's Wavelab 3.0 (bit resolution & resampling to CDR redbook 16/44.1> CDWav v1.6 (tracking only)> SHNv3 (MKW ACT); taped, transferred and seeded to abgd by Charlie Connor; includes Nevilles set as d1; d3 tracked for 80 min
Subject: Shrooms and the Boys Cure the Blues
So I thought I'd get me a few tickets for the show to help me feel better and less homesick. I convinced my little 15 year old brother to fly out. I picked him up at SF airport from the People Express Airlines terminal ($150 round trip!). After a big hug we found our way over to Oakland. I was already feeling better.
We walked into the place and I felt like I was home with my family. The volley ball game they had going in the middle of the place was wild too. Back East we didn't get shit like that.
Secondly I'd never been that close to the dead. We got right up front and Bobby was spitting on us literally. Of course the show was just what the doctor ordered and when my brother got back to NJ all his deadhead friends were too jealous to hear about his escapades. haha
On a side note 2 really hot girls asked me if us if we wanted to buy some shrooms when we were walking up from the parking lot to the entrance. We ended up making out with them as we ate a few stems and caps. We washed down the bitter taste with a few shots of Southern Comfort. They were young and sweet like us. I bet those two wonderful hippie girls are married with five kids by now. God bless em!
Subject: you all missed the real show
Subject: Uneven but a minor gem
Out of the starting gate they came. The opening Bucket was tight and rockin' followed by a sweetly played, crowd mellowing Sugaree. Jerry clearly stood out on guitar and really sailed effortlessly along. The two songs are a fairly standard opening combo but how can ya complain when they get the show rollin' in fine fashion?
Unfortunately what rolls must eventually stop, or at least slow down and that's what happened next. Tons Of Steel wasn't exactly new at the time but to most in the hall it was new 'cause it hadn't yet appeared on a studio album and how many in attendance were in attendance for the previous only a handful of times it had been played in the past year plus? Probably not many but the song got some kind applause followed by Bobby steppin' up to the mic and sayin' to us, "Even the best trains occasionally leave the tracks." Perhaps that was in reference to the song still bein' a little . . . not quite so polished, maybe a little bit of a trainwreck in its earliest performances?
Hopefully Tennessee Jed will get this show back on track? Not completely. Jerry messed up a little bit but the song flowed along alright. It didn't do much for me, though, not tonight. Maybe just a lull in the first set? Seems Billy mighta been a little off kilter, too, at least according to Bobby who announced, "Billy's losing points on the Most Valuable Player contest tonight." Did he know the band wasn't all there? Come on, Billy, pull it tighter and maybe Jerry'll step up a bit more, too? Purely speculation, of course.
There was no wondering where Phil was, he helped lead the charge on Cassidy. Now we're talkin'! That was just a lull 'cause we are definitely rollin' again! YES!! Huge smile . . . they're playin' this one out so well. Everyone's 100% on the same page. The HJK is goin' nuts!! What a sweet freakin' jam!!!!! YESSSS!!!!!! Only the fifth song of the show but this night could end right now and all would be right in the world. Cassidy achieved nothing less than Pure Bliss . . . but wait, what the?! WHAT THE?! WHY?!? What happened? They brought this sucker down way too fast, like it fell off a freakin' cliff, like it was shot down by insurgents, like someone looked at their watch and said, "oh crap, we've gotta end this set in 4 minutes or the whole universe will collapse in on itself." Bobby was clearly caught off guard when Wham! it was time for -- "flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words," quiet ending, all done, Don't Ease Me In -> "We'll be back in a little bit." 39 minutes?!?!? Check the time again. Yup. A 39 minute 1st Set. [confused sigh.]
Hmmm. That was interesting. I was left feeling like the prince of confusion and if more than half the crowd didn't feel the same way then maybe this whole life I'm living is just a dream. 39 minutes?! Well . . . alright, at least that sweet, sweet (most of) Cassidy was completely worth it. I woulda driven a thousand miles for that alone. Let's just hope the 2nd Set smokes . . .
Scarlet -> Fire kicked things off sort of strangely. Lyrically the two-some fell short of splendid but that was made up for musically, particularly in Fire. I tell ya, when Jerry blows the words, thank goodness he can be all there with his fingers on guitar strings! While the even flow of the two songs was noticeably disturbed, I still couldn't keep from dancin' all the way through. Nice!! Despite the lyrical flaws, the boys held it all together quite superbly!
Bobby soon took the reigns and a solid Estimated followed. Definitely a highlight of the 2nd Set. Through much of the song he and Jerry worked perfectly in tandem while other times Rockstar Bobby had to go for the crowd pleasing, spotlight stealing screamage. Not too much, though, nothing crazily over the top tonight. Then contrary to Deadlists and Deadbase, Estimated never really transitioned into Drums. It petered out and Brent tried a few bars of Never Trust A Women but that never came close to taking off. Instead Jerry just wandered and led the rest into a few minutes of a Spacey Jam, absolutely completely non-Estimated by that point. This part of the setlist should truly read: Estimated-> Space-> Drums!
After Drums, what comes next interestingly isn't Space. After Mickey & Billy play, the transition is into More Drums a.k.a. Drums Part II with members of the Neville Brothers. It really picks up a ton of steam here. Compared to just Mickey & Billy, this is louder, faster, it's got a bunch of rhythm and made me wanna dance around like a mad banshee with my head cut off!
In a few minutes some other instruments kick in. A familiar theme is touched on in there but my mind hasn't been able to pick out exactly what that was. In any case, what we've really got here is: Estimated-> Space-> Drums-> Drums Part II (with the Nevilles)-> Jam. A second after that Jam dwindles to an end, everyone launches at once into . . . into what? It almost sounds like Hey Pockey Way . . . but, no, it's one of the Neville Brothers taking the lead vocals on Willie And The Hand Jive! And who's that on bass? Not Phil, that's some completely different funky bass, another of the Nevilles. Wow, this is fun and sweet! They must've run through it at least once during a soundcheck to be able to be puttin' it all together so well.
A very short but well done Wheel was next. Similar to Estimated earlier, it petered out at the end. A nice segue into Midnight Hour completely did not happen. Were they even sure what they were gonna play next? Still a nice version albeit short and not at all jammed out. Jerry accompanied beautifully while Bobby and Brent carried the song, Bobby even asking for a little audience participation.
What came next, for some reason, had me floored. Jerry completely and so perfectly ripped into Johnny B. Goode. It was like after coasting on cruise control he just came truly alive for the first time all night. I'm not usually a huge fan of JBG but this was really cool. The Bob & Jerry Show was in full swing and here it was Jerry who was the one offering up some screamage, almost letting people know he was present and accounted for!
Post-Drums had no jams to speak of but it all seemed to work! The U.S. Blues encore, even with, again, some messed up lyrics, helped to close out the night on a great high.
This is a show that was truly uneven but I gotta tell ya, there were only five GD shows in the first 2½ months of 1986 and I woulda driven hundreds of miles back and forth just to see this one alone. No, it wasn't epic. No, it wasn't perfect. It was even sloppy. I've listened to this a couple times in a row now and each time I was left feelin' pretty content at the end. Even when musical perfection was not achieved, when ya add together all the good parts it proves that sometimes a show can still be quite satisfying!
Subject: Ahhhh...Mardi Gras 86
I don't think I had any experience(brain cell altering) like this run of shows in my 12+ years seeing shows.
Subject: Blow Away
Subject: The Great and Amazing HJK
Subject: FIRST TO REVIEW!!
Uploaded by Jonathan Aizen on